tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC September 30, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
believe it's only a matter of time before another new penitentiary opens its doors. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. romney versus ryan, the divorce. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with mr. romney's divorce. why did he pick paul ryan for his running mate? certainly not for better or worse. mitt spends his days and nights acting as if he's out there all alone, that he never hooked up with ryan in the first place. i get it. romney doesn't want to get dragged down by his political mate's push for getting rid of medicare. he acts like ryan has no hold on him, but it's not the way it works. romney has slowly gotten the word that the voter out there
thought the two had things worked out, that romney and ryan were in this thing together. well, they're not. romney is dying. he can't stand being tied to ryan, and all that budget cutting baggage of his. for his part, ryan is feeling the taint of having a running mate who is unwilling to stand with him, unwilling to be his kind of politician. a conviction politician. so trouble in paradise. mitt's dying to be single again, so is ryan. we all know that politics makes strange bedfellows but the word is out this pair, romney and ryan, are sleeping in separate rooms. i'm joined by msnbc political analyst howard fineman and joy ann reid, managing editor of thegrio.com. more polling data that shows mitt romney trailing. let's check the hardball scoring board. according to a new fox news poll, president obama leads romney by five points among likely voters nationwide. 48% to 43%. catch that, the fox poll. highly significant there. let's go right now to howard on this question.
it looks to me like this divorce papers are pretty much out there right now. all that you hear now is romney doesn't really want to be stuck in that little basement where they cut medicare. >> well, mitt romney was on the campaign trail today saying, i have a little secret, i'm going to win pennsylvania. okay. he's not going to win pennsylvania. >> it's the oldest state in the union. >> he's not going to win pennsylvania with paul ryan's profile on medicare or budget cutting or anything else. so if mitt romney is serious about making a play in pennsylvania, that just underscores how inconvenient paul ryan has become. look, mitt romney did not pick paul ryan because of paul ryan's medicare or budget programs. he picked paul ryan because of his youthfulness, because of the cultural appeal, because of what paul ryan himself calls the deer hunter catholic that he is, okay? that might sell in pennsylvania, but the other stuff won't. and if we're going to be cutting medicare at some point, which i think most voters understand, i think right now looking at these alternatives, they would rather
have a democrat they know than a republican from a party that never supported the program to begin with. >> let me go to joy on that. joy-ann, it seems to me that people who once you get into your late 60s, early 70s, into your 80s, you have one primary care, and that's what you're always talking about with your friends, how is your health? how is it going? you're social life in many ways is going to see the doctor. you have to survive, see your kids and grandkids. you don't walk away and say i'd like to cut it but i don't like his health care program. it's pretty hard to separate. >> the most remarkable thing when you go back and look at the state by state swing state polls, in florida or in wisconsin or in ohio or in iowa, the remarkable thing and the only thing that has changed in terms of the demographics is that barack obama is now tied with mitt romney or beating mitt romney among voters over 60. that's the very group that is the most skeptical of barack obama. they have been the hardest group for him to win over, but he is
now winning them over and there's only one reason for that, it is medicare. and, you know, as much as i totally understand what howard fineman was saying, there was no other reason to pick paul ryan other than his budget. paul ryan was not the governor of a state, he can't deliver his home state from what we're seeing -- >> we know that now. >> you picked him because you wanted to tell the right we're going to take your ideology and take it to main street and then he didn't want to do it. he is trying to hide -- >> let me -- now you got into a little thought here about howard's thinking, my question to you, and it's a tough one, didn't he know that if he bought ryan, he was buying his deal? he was buying his cuts in medicare, his substitution plan for a voucher system? didn't he know that? how could he not know that? he's a dealmaker. >> he immediately distanced himself. mitt romney immediately distanced himself from the $700 billion in cuts that the were part of paul ryan's immediate plan. so they knew right away they had a problem. i think they picked him because in spite of that. i think they picked him because
he was young, because he was forceful, because, yes, he was ideological, but typical mitt romney who for a business guy doesn't always examine the details, i mean, i don't think they thought through the implications. >> i don't get -- >> i don't think -- they were going for the sizzle of the conservative without looking at the details. >> let me get into this for a minute here. this is the mitt romney -- we all have problems in our thinking, nobody is perfect obviously. i think the problem with mitt romney is he wants all the advantages of a conviction politician. he wants to be seen as one, but he isn't one. he's a pragmatist. let's get a look. the starkest bit of evidence paul ryan's position on medicare is poisoning the republican ticket came a week ago when paul ryan was booed at the aarp convention when he called for the repeal of obama care. let's watch this. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. i had a feeling there would be
mixed reaction, so let me get into it. it weakens medicare for today's seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation. >> well, not too popular there. now we've got the poll that is put concrete numbers behind those boos. a new poll by "the washington post" and the kaiser family foundation shows that medicare trails only the economy as the top voting issue in the swing states of florida, ohio, and virginia. and among voters who say medicare is extremely important to their vote, obama swamps romney by, get this, 13 points. when voters in those states were asked a similar question, whom they trusted to deal with the medicare program, obama again trumps romney in all the polls. in ohio obama leads romney on medicare by 19. in florida, 15. in virginia, 13. other polls have shown president obama's advantage on medicare has grown significantly since ryan joined the ticket. so let's go back to this again, trying to figure this out.
he bought into a guy who was known primarily for this voucher plan, getting rid of medicare as we know it. basically go to a doctor and the bills are paid by medicare. you can't beat a system like that, joy-ann, i don't think on this planet earth and have something paid for when you go to do it. there's nothing like it. >> and -- >> why would anybody want to change it? nobody would want to change it. >> chris, i think what's worse than that is they tried to be too cute with it. they said they're not going to touch anybody over 55. people over 55 understand their children are future seniors. they don't want to get rid of the program period. it's not they're going to be selfish and say as long as you don't touch my medicare, go ahead, turn it into a voucher. seniors don't like the idea of changing the program for their children and grandchildren. they want the program to stay as it is. >> we're going to put you in a room with a lion but keep him 15 feet away from you. we're not going to let him get at you exactly. >> absolutely. that whole don't worry everybody
over 55 -- >> wouldn't that send a message we know it won't sell to you. >> yes, what it sends a message is we know this is unpalatable so we're going to keep you away from it. i agree, it's a line that's been used before. it's a line that's been drawn before, but it turns out not to work politically. >> i want to get to something that really is wild. by the way, here it is again, we'll get to this first. in the first interview romney and ryan gave after ryan joined the ticket, bob schieffer pointed out ryan budget plan, including his plan to voucherize, that's a great word, medicare, could be trouble for romney. let's listen. >> there's no question your campaign has been trying to make this a election a referendum on barack obama. now some people are saying you are making it a referendum on paul ryan's budget plan. >> well, i have my budget plan, as you know, that i have put out, and that's the budget plan that we're going to run on. >> and again this sunday romney had to distance himself from
ryan's positions and assert that he's the man at the top of the ticket. let's listen. >> the president's cutting $716 billion from current medicare. i disagree with that. i'd put those dollars back into medicare. >> mr. ryan has proposed something similar, almost precisely the same number, 716. >> he was going to use that money to reduce the budget deficit. i'm putting it back into medicare and i'm the guy running for president. >> well, what a miserable time he has. all he does is defend himself against paul ryan's budget and he put the guy on the ticket. >> chris, i remember when this happened. when he put ryan on the ticket, a lot of democrats said, okay, it's over, we've got it. and i was skeptical about that when they said it, and i think a lot of us who like to hear intellectual debates about policy said, great, bring it on, let's have a big debate about the philosophy of government. down in florida they don't care about the philosophy. >> all politics is local. >> they want the program, they like the program, don't mess with the program.
>> thank you, howard. thank you very much for joining us. coming up, claire mccaskill versus todd aiken. it became a good bet for democrats. let's see how it is looking now. claire mccaskill, herself, joins us next. with four judges in the supreme court in their 70s, the next president could dramatically shift the balance of the court to the right or the left. who do you want picking two or three new judges in the court? celebrities weigh in on the supreme court race. no photo, no voto. i'm on to your shenanigans, murray gershin. >> she is something, sarah sobrin. how hollywood hopes to rei go nate the spirit of 2008 for president obama. finally, let me finish with my predictions or next week's
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welcome back to hardball. after initially urging him 20 drop out, more republicans are encouraging that senate race with mccaskill. weeks ago bond and other top republicans urged him to get out of the race saying these comments by aiken were disqualifying. >> it seems to me first of all from what i understand from doctors, that's very rare. if it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down. >> sounds like a crack pot there. after the deadline for aiken to drop out, republicans seemed to have dropped their denunciations of aiken.
now groups that vowed never to give him another penny are hinting they might reverse courts. on wednesday, they put out a statement saying, quote, as with every republican senate candidate, we hope todd akin wins in september. it has a long history of making outrageous statements, some of which she highlights in her latest tv ad. let's watch. >> on the mainstream priorities that matter to missouri, how does that akin measure up? see for yourself. when asked about a plan that ends traditional medicare forcing seniors to pay an extra $6,000 per year -- >> so this is a good idea. i voted for it. >> the minimum wage, akin wants to abolish it. >> i don't think that government should be setting the prices or wages on different things.
>> making college affordable. akin compared the federal student loans program to stage three cancer. >> america has got the equivalent of stage three cancer of socialism. >> senator mccaskill joins us now. senator, i follow politics i guess my whole life, and these kinds of crackpots used to be the people that ran every four or six years and were regularly defeated in primaries. they were the side show in politics. how did he win a nomination in missouri to run for the united states senate, this guy, todd akin, with his views? >> it was a three-way primary, and the far right, very evangelical, religious base of the republican party, the mike huckabee, rick santorum wing of the republican party coalesced behind todd akin in the primary and in a three-way primary, that was enough. >> earlier this week akin is back in shape here i guess in terms of the establishment. he had this to say about your debating style. take a look. >> the first two minutes it was like somebody let a wildcat
loose and so we went at it for about an hour. >> he said he was surprised about how you attacked from every different direction. you know, as if it was a debate or something. he said you weren't very ladylike. let's check that thought from him. >> she was very aggressive in the debate, which was quite different than the way she was when she ran against jim talent. she had a confidence and was very much more sort of ladylike in the debate we had friday. she came out swinging, and i think that's because she was threatened. >> well, today akin denied his use of the word ladylike was sexist. he said it's the same thing as calling a man a gentleman. quote, we have a couple words in the english language one is a gentleman and one is a lady. they are pretty self-explanatory. i was using them just as the english language uses those items or those terms. what do you make of that? when you heard him say ladylike, did it strike you as a bit yesterday and sexist in the old time version where women are
treated as somehow frail and they should act like they're frail and fragile and they shouldn't really get rough and tough even when it's a fight for the united states senate? what did you think? >> well, you know, i was speechless. i'm a former courtroom prosecutor, chris, and i want to be strong and informed, and i fight for missouri's middle class families, and todd akin is very extreme, and i don't think he was prepared for me confronting him with things like him being one of the handful of people who vote against the child nutrition program and voting against a sex offender registry and voting against a center for missing and exploited children. i mean, this is somebody who does make michele bachmann look like a hippie. he is that far on the fringe. >> that's pretty far. >> pointing those things out, i'm not sure he was prepared for that, but i was polite and calm, and i think that saying i was unladylike is a code word for that, you know, women shouldn't
be strong and that we should be more deferential, and i think that's probably what he was getting at. >> well, you ought to be strong. you're the only thing between him and this crackpot getting into the united states senate. i wish you would get a little tougher. look at the things he stands for. he wants to get rid of medicare. and then he wants to abolish the minimum wage. there's a lot of people out there who got their first job with a minimum wage and needed it to get protection. he wants to get rid of student loans. i had student loans all through college. i had an assistantship in college and grad schools. a lot of us couldn't go to quality schools if we didn't have that kind of help. what is he talking about saying we got to get rid of student loans and calling it stage three cancer? it wasn't that for me. what's he talking about? >> that's just it, it's not what he has said that's the problem, it's what he believes that is the problem. >> thank you for joining us. good to have you on as always. up next, stephen colbert
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why not give it a shot? carry on. now you can test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. back to "hardball." i told you yesterday about the anger coming from some on the right over recent polls on the presidential race. not everyone is willing to admit president obama is actually leading mitt romney right now. despite what the polling data shows. well, stephen colbert weighed in. >> you can't trust polls, right fox news? >> the latest fox news polls give president obama an edge in three key swing states. once you isolate voters who are extremely interested in the election, the race is much closer. >> romney's tied when you focus on the inexpressibly intrigued.
and he's up by two points when you count only voters who are psychotically engaged. folks, i have got my own source of polls, conservative blogger dean chambers who analyzed these polls favoring obama and then reached the scientific conclusion that they just didn't look right. chambers' work throws all polls into doubt now. even the internal ones i have taken of myself. i mean, the results say i'm not that excited about mitt romney, but as a conservative i feel like i should love him. maybe the sample size is too small or maybe i checked the wrong box and i'm actually latino, you know? >> it's not a good sign just six weeks from election day to bash the polls. the first presidential debate is next week, next wednesday. looking back to the gop primary debates for a moment, there were probably times when you heard a candidate's response and thought, can that really be true?
example -- >> this is one thing we know about barack obama, he has essentially handed over our interrogation of terrorists to the aclu. he's outsourced it to them. our cia has no ability to have any form of interrogation for terrorists. >> people were dumbfounded watching that. anyway, the national press caught up with a team of fact checkers wednesday and the name bachmann came up. jim drinkard, who represents the associated press said, quote, we had to have a self-imposed michele bachmann quota in some of those debates. often she was just more prone to statements that just didn't add up. well, the bachmann quota, drinkard said the quota didn't have a numeric value, but focusing on all bachmann's murky statements would overload the debate story. take a look at this headline from the iranian news organization fars, f-a-r-s. gallup poll, rural whites prefer
ahmadinejad to obama. a quote from a west virginia resident, i like him better. >> the one poll that republicans might accept as legitimate. guess where that headline originated? "the onion," america's favorite source for fake news. another "onion" news item today, florida to experiment with new 600 lever voting machine. finally, the latest music and dance tribute to president obama. this is all over the place literally. >> i'm barack obama and i party. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> that guy behind the mask is one hell of a dancer. the performance is suitably